Writer: Ma. Victoria I. Palomar, Media Affairs and Public Relations Service
09 August 2016 09:05:28 AM
Lawmakers are calling for a ban on the hiring of public school teachers on contracts of service or job orders.
ACT Party-list Reps. Antonio L. Tinio and France L. Castro filed House Bill 60 prohibits the hiring of teachers at all levels through contracts of service or job orders to carry out the duties and functions of regular teaching staff.
Tinio said the practice of hiring public school teachers and higher education teaching personnel on contracts of service or job orders is all too common.
“Local governments, the Department of Education, and public higher education institutions resort to this practice primarily to deal with growing student enrolments in the context of acute shortages of regular teaching items funded by the national budget,” Tinio explained.
He said at present, there are about 600,000 teachers who are hired in such a manner, working at all levels of the public education system.
Tinio said teachers on contracts of service or job orders experience exploitative and discriminatory compensation, benefits, and working conditions, as they do not have employer-employee relationship with the institutions that hired them.
“Although possessing the same qualifications as their regularly-employed counterparts, they receive lower pay, enjoy none of the benefits, have no security, and are deprived of their right to unionize,” Tinio said.
These teachers, Tinio said, are also denied benefits such as Personnel Economic Relief Allowance (PERA), Cost of Living Allowance (COLA), Representation and Transportation Allowance (RATA), midyear bonus, productivity incentive, Christmas bonus and cash gifts, and the social security coverage provided by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and PhilHealth.
“Having no security of tenure, they are often rehired on the same terms, year in and year out,” he said.
For her part, Castro explained that hiring teachers through contracts of service or job orders is contrary to Article XIV, Section 5(5) of the 1987 Constitution and existing laws, including Republic Act 4670 (the Magna Carta of Public School Teachers) that are intended to protect the status of the teaching profession.
The bill provides that no teacher shall be hired to carry out the duties and functions of regular teaching staff, either on a full-time or part-time basis, through contacts of service or job orders.
Post-secondary education institutions requiring teachers with highly specialized or technical expertise, which cannot be provided by their regular teaching staff are exempt from the prohibition on contracts of service.
The measure imposes the administrative sanction of dismissal from the public service with cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, and the perpetual disqualification for reemployment in the government service for any government official or employee who violates said prohibition.